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" Round Crummock with Jane "
Date & start time: 5th May 2021. 11 am start.
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Crummock anti-clockwise, via Ling Crag, Buttermere & Rannerdale.
Walk details : 10.3 mls, 900 ft of ascent, 6 hours including lunch (but not the washing up).
Highest point : Rannerdale Hause, 475ft - 146m (45m above lake level).
Walked with : Jane and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies, still cool.
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The month of May brought a change to more moist and changeable weather.
However it is still not warm and Tuesday 4th May even sent wintery showers that covered the tops with snow.
[ This week the Lake District Ski Club could offer skiing on Helvellyn in May which is most unusual.]
This was the view as seen from Loweswater before darkness fell.
However, tomorrow forecasts good sunshine which will be nice for another planned walk with my ex-colleague Jane.
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Jane and myself . . . I'm the one sporting a post-lockdown haircut.
Photo courtesy of that little 10 second button on the camera that you can never really remember how to work !
We're heading out on a walk around Crummock Water, starting from home and travelling anti-clockwise round the lake.
We're travelling light, hoping to "eat out" at one of the Buttermere cafes half way through the day.
Here we are looking back at Mellbreak Cottage and High Park soon after the start of the walk.
Across the valley the views to Low Fell are beautifully clear.
For a flat walk we managed to clock up 900 feet of climbing, starting with this elevated view of Crummock and Rannerdale.
At the head of the lake, the high fells still retain a reasonable covering of yesterday's snow.
Sandy Yatt - the pebble beach as we first reach the lake.
We didn't, but the dogs wetted their feet to christen the start of the walk . . . or was it to chase a stick (can't remember).
The view ahead as we approach Low Ling Crag.
The snow we've seen on High Stile and Great Gable is duplicated on Grasmoor and Ill Crag.
Low Ling Crag is joined to the shore by a gravel beach.
In the distance is the sunlit ridge climbing to Fleetwith Pike and the snow covered high moorland of Brandreth.
Good snow cover on the summits, all of it shining in today's bright sunlight.
Although not an official right of way, the path nevertheless sports a fine footbridge to carry us over Scale Beck.
Spring catkins on the tree next to the river.
Fresh new leaves on this Hawthorn as we walk on towards Buttermere.
Low fell is a pleasing distance away which means Buttermere can't be far off now.
An old sheepfold at the head of the lake hints at a time of more grass and less bracken.
Buttermere Dubbs, that section of the river between Scale Bridge and the one adjacent to Sour Milk Gill.
We pass on the first river crossing in favour of the short extra walk up to the upper bridge.
There are three bridges here, one over the river and two across Sour Milk Gill.
This is the classic photographer's view from the smallest bridge, up the lake towards Fleetwith Pike.
Fleetwith Edge can be seen dropping steadily down to Gatesgarth at the head of Buttermere.
50 things to do before you reach the village . . . walk the plank !
The Fish Hotel, now called the Buttermere Court, is offering car parking adjacent to the hotel . . . please pay at their machine.
All change in the village, a new name for one hotel and it looks like a new colour scheme for the other.
Scaffolding surrounds the Bridge Hotel where the workmen are trying to get the upgrade done before they re-open at the end of lock-down.
Jane and I opt for lunch at Sykes Farm Cafe . . . other cafes are available as they say.
A delightful filled baguette and a bowl of hot soup makes for a fine lunch, outside of course.
The dogs are treated to . . . but just a normal snack lunch of dog biscuits from my rucksack.
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Suitably refreshed we turn for home leg down the other side of the lake.
However there are still several hours left on the clock before we get there.
Buttermere Church with its wrought iron shepherds gate at the entrance to keep the sheep out.
The sun gleams on the old school, now the Village Hall.
The front of the Bridge Hotel looks as inviting and traditional as ever.
The view of Croft Farm with snow on the High Stile Ridge makes it look almost Alpine.
Nicholas Size owner of the Victoria, what is now The Bridge Hotel in the 1930's, proposed a ski lift to the summit of High Crag to encourage tourism.
Seeing Buttermere on a busy day nowadays, encouraging more tourists is hardly necessary.
Crag Farm with that snow on the high fells again.
We crossed, then followed Mill Beck back down to the lake shore.
A quick look back at the high fells as seen across the Buttermere fields.
Jane contemplating the gentle lapping waves of the ocean ahead of us.
Mellbreak and the western side of Crummock that we walked along this morning.
The Wood House Jetty has a boat moored up today . . . the first time I've seen one in the water here.
It is usually laid up on the grass in the adjacent field.
Through the woods on the small headland beyond the boat landing
and our route now passes the Woodhouse Islands a small distance out into the lake.
The second minor climb of the day takes us up the old road over Rannerdale Hause.
It is now a green track as it has been superceded by the current tarmac road that is cut into the rock crags below the hause.
Looking down on Rannerdale Farm
and along the remainder of Crummock to Low Fell and Loweswater at the far end.
- - - o o o - - -
I checked out the Rannerdale Bluebells last week
and reckoned that they were two or three weeks away from their best, depending on what the weather would bring.
Well we've had some rain and some warmer sunshine, so Jane and I detour from the main road in order to visit Rannerdale Valley.
There's a bit of colour on the fields ahead . . . but not a lot !
The National Trust have re-erected the fences again this year to avoid the blooms being trampled.
The path takes us past the large Crab Apple tree. The area to the right here is always the last to burst into flower.
Whiteless Pike stands out as a real pyramid from this part of the valley.
Looking across to the first-to-show bluebells on the south facing slopes, across the other side of Rannerdale Beck.
The flowers have grown compared to last week . . . they were probably thirsty after the dry April !
[ May 18th: By the time that I've published this page the flowers have grown nicely and provide a good display again this year]
[ More pictures to follow soon ]
We close the gate at the other side of the bluebell fields and head on for Cinderdale.
Here we're looking at Gale Fell and Starling Dodd across the other side of the lake.
Did you spot the aircraft on the last photo . . . hardly fair as I had the sound turned off !
The aircraft is an American Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey capable of vertical take off and landing, a feat achieved by swiveling the whole of its wing structure.
[ The large double rotor blades make a sound similar to the Chinook Helicopter, if you know what I mean.]
We regain the shoreline path once again, soon after leaving Cinderdale.
That's a very cheerful smile . . . we've had a nice lunch, a nice walk and a nice day.
It is not over yet as we enter High Wood.
This was the view back after we shut the gate into the woods.
The larch trees and the pine needle floor makes this part of the walk almost Scottish in appearance.
A visit to the boathouse . . . difficult to avoid of you are walking the lake shore !
Down to the weir at the foot of Crummock.
The water is a few inches above the parapet
creating a curved meniscus as it starts its brief tumble over the edge and down into the infant River Cocker.
" Guardian of the Bridge".
He wants me to play at throwing his stick . . . and he's not going to move till I agree to the terms of the crossing !
Jane checks out her photos, the dry overflow slipway providing a comfortable resting place.
Then there were three !
As we crossed the bridge we met up with a local couple and their retriever Dave. He is the middle one of the three.
I've met Lindsey, her partner and Dave before as they often walk in Lanthwaite woods.
Nine and a half miles into the walk and Dougal still has unbounded energy.
Rounding the corner towards the Pump House.
One final look back at our day out . . .
before we fill the kettle once again at the end of another fine walk.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my light weight Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
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Previous walk - 30th April - Great Borne and Starling Dodd
A previous time up here - 10th April - Rannerdale, Buttermere for lunch
Next walk - 27th April - 14th May - Rannerdale Bluebells